FAST flexes its muscles.

  Belatucadrus 13:21 06 Mar 2007
Locked

£3,400 fine for illegal P2P software sharing instead of paying the £35 license fee, ouch. click here
click here

  Kate B 13:43 06 Mar 2007

The usual caveat applies - the copy says he was using illegal software. I assume he was actually using a perfectly legal P2P or torrent client.

  rodriguez 14:28 06 Mar 2007

I think FAST and other authorities are going after more people, but I think they also make an example of a single case such as this one to scare people into stopping illegal downloading - and it probably works. I can't think of anyone who would like the idea of having a huge fine just because they want to save a few quid by getting software for free illegally. However I also heard that the authorites also mostly go for people who upload and share the content rather than the ones who just download - meaning that people who download with the sharing switched off and then shut the P2P client down when it's finished are less likely to be caught. How true this is I don't know, but I got out the P2P game ages ago when I realised how bad it was.

  crosstrainer 14:37 06 Mar 2007

FAST has very few muscles..whilst I agree 100% with the concept of penalties for those who choose to download, hack, or otherwise obtain software by illegal means, it is the small and medium size companies who get away with blue murder.

I could name (but will not, for obvious reasons) at least 20 smaller organisations with who I have terminated my affiliation because the directors simply refused to pay for licensed copies of all sorts of software.

Target these people, fine them heavily and then you might make some progress. However, this will not I'm afraid cause a huge drop in the price of software. Over the years, I have spent thousands of pounds on the stuff...upgrades, full versions etc. ect. Most of it now redundant, sitting in it's nice original packaging and headed for the bin!

  rodriguez 14:50 06 Mar 2007

crosstrainer's just reminded me of the company I used to work for, which has now closed down, where this practice was beyond rife. Basically it was a company (not very big) that built and sold computers. We had to install:

Pirate versions of Windows (this was before WGA came out, so anyone who has one of these machines now is screwed) that were self-made by the boss to include automated installations with the same product key (all we had to do was put the disc in and boot it, it formatted and installed itself while we were kept busy by cleaning machines and messing about)
Pirate versions of Office (2000 and XP)
We had "Techie discs" with allsorts of glorious software burnt onto them - ZoneAlarm and QuickTime pro among a few, both with keygens

Now if that's not illegal, I don't know what is...

  crosstrainer 15:02 06 Mar 2007

Yes, same scenario I came across time after time, particularly with Windows and Office...when I told the director's of the companies in question that they would have to purchase licenses, they simply laughed and refused. One particular comment sticks in my mind to this day...."We don't bother with legal software here" came from a supposedly reputable firm!

  Belatucadrus 17:24 06 Mar 2007

Actually FAST do have some fairly handy muscles click here click here and they do on occasion use them against smaller companies and when they do, ignorance is no excuse, some bright spark installing an unlicensed copy can cost the company dear. Smart Alec directors tend to change their minds about the use of illegal copies if you show them the ten years in prison bit.
I used to work for a company that were red hot on keeping the licences absolutely up to date. What they weren't to good at was installing the software, they had a tendency to post new copies of the AV on the company Intranet and expect people to do it themselves. Guess what, it didn't work.

  jackhass 17:49 06 Mar 2007

I can't understand why he didn't say it was his vacant grandmother who randomly hits the keys.
But plays a good tune.

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